1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel Podcast

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The Sunshine Flyer will replace Disney's Magical Express to transport Walt Disney World guests to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and it may just be even more magical than Magical Express. Find out everything you need to know about this new service.

Show Notes

The Sunshine Flyer is Ready to Replace Disney's Magical Express

Ever since Disney announced it would be ending its popular Magical Express service in January 2022, Disney travelers have been wondering: So what now?

This week, Transportation Management Services (TMS) announced The Sunshine Flyer as a new service that would transport guests from MCO to Walt Disney World resort hotels. 

The Sunshine Flyer offers a themed experience that is based on old-fashioned railway passenger cars and vintage stream train engines.

A Design and Themed Experience that Walt Disney Would Love

The service aims to take the stress of airport transportation for Disney guests in Orlando and help to kickstart the magic of a family vacation from the moment they board the bus at the airport. Some key facts about The Sunshine Flyer:
  • The exteriors of the buses are designed to look like old-fashioned locomotives or passenger cars (and there are several different designs)
  • Staff will be dressed as 1920s rail conductors and engineers
  • The buses will have entertainment throughout the trip
  • Ticket pre-sales are now available and service begins on February 1, 2022
There is also a charitable component to the launch of The Sunshine Flyer in honor of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary:
  • For the first 50 days of service, 50% of Sunshine Flyer ticket sales will be donated to Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida.
  • Make-A-Wish children and their families will receive complimentary service from the Sunshine Flyer for their Disney wishes indefinitely
The Sunshine Flyer’s buses are late model, premium motorcoaches. From the classic railway-inspired bus designs to staff dressed as 1920s rail conductors and engineers, the motorcoaches effectively serve as time-machines, offering a glimpse into 1920s rail travel.

According to Frank Sherman, CEO of TMS: “Everyone knows the magic of Disney once they’re inside the park gates. But through The Sunshine Flyer, we’re able to give guests the chance to start their vacation from the minute they step off the plane and turn what used to be a procedural drive into the beginning of an adventure to remember.” 

With 25 years of experience as a large events transportation company working with world-class events such as the FIFA World Cup, NBA Finals and various PGA TOUR Tournaments, TMS is primed to offer a streamlined and well-executed service through The Sunshine Flyer. 

What's inside The Sunshine Flyer buses?
  • There will be entertainment on the buses
  • Complete with a bathroom
  • You can attach your child car seat to the three-point harness on seats
  • For wheelchairs request an ADA bus when booking
  • USB chargers and 
  • three-point seatbelts for the comfort and safety of all guests 
And yes, the buses will serve all Disney resort hotels 

How to Make a Reservation for The Sunshine Flyer

You will book tickets online and receive a QR code that you will scan once you arrive at Orlando International Airport. Presumably this will be around the luggage carousel area. The goal is to ensure smooth timing and departures to the Resorts. 

No luggage handling option at launch, but they hope to add it at some future time. 

Located in the Main Terminal Building of Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Terminal B, Level 1, in the Ground Transportation area
What You Want to Know

Will buses depart WDW four hours before flight? 
Unclear. "Your bus is scheduled based on your specific flights. We monitor both inbound and outbound flights to make sure your trip is scheduled properly. We will email/text you a more exact departure window the day before your scheduled trips."
How long will it take to get to your hotel? 
According to Sunshine Flyer: "We are using a dynamic routing software that customizes each day’s transfers based on specific riders. We can set the parameters to how long the ride is or how many stops the bus makes. 65 minutes is the longest anyone will be on a bus once it leaves to the final destination."

“By combining our storied expertise in mass transportation management with a creative, themed experience, we have the unique opportunity to offer an experience that’s both stress-free and engaging,” added Sherman. “Disney guests deserve a trip to remember, right from the start. Whether they’re young or old, travelling in a group or solo, we hope The Sunshine Flyer sparks the imagination and excitement of all of our guests from the moment they step on the bus.”

In celebration of Disney’s 50th anniversary, the Sunshine Flyer will donate 50% of all revenue from the first 50,000 passengers during the first 50 days of business to Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida.
As a part of the Sunshine Flyer’s commitment to giving back, all Make-A-Wish children and their families will receive complimentary service from the Sunshine Flyer for their Disney wishes indefinitely.

Tickets for The Sunshine Flyer must be booked at least four days ahead of arrival. Tickets are $17.00 per adult, $12.50 per child each way. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.sunshineflyer.com.

Cancellations 72 hours in advance for full refund, credit if less than that.

In other Disney travel news...
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort Will Reopen at Walt Disney World Resort in 2022
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort will welcome Guests back starting March 31, 2022. Reservations are now open to book your stay.

With this announcement it means that, as of Spring 2022, all Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be operating by for the first time since Spring 2020.

Thank You for Listening to the Disney Travel Podcast

Thank you very much for listening to this episode, Amelia and I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, we would be very grateful if you could rate, review and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts/iTunes (or on whichever app you choose to listen). A brief review about what you liked most about an episode truly helps to keep the show going by exposing it to new listeners. We look forward to continue producing new episodes each week.

Sharing the podcast with your friends and on social media is also extremely helpful and very much appreciated.

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Thank you for listening and have a magical day!

Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic

Media provided by Jamendo

What is 1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel Podcast?

1923 Main Street® is a Disney travel podcast hosted by the father daughter team of Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic. This is your source for the latest Disney travel news and what it all means for you.

Join Mike and Amelia for fun-filled informative discussions as they share the latest Disney travel news every week. Get the latest news for travel to Disney destinations, including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club properties (including Disney Aulani in Hawaii and Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida), Disneyland Paris and more.

In each episode, Mike and Amelia discuss the very latest Disney travel from resort hotels, to Disney dining, VIP experiences, special events, theme parks and more. Mike has over 50 years of Disney travel experience, while Amelia brings a younger perspective to the table with 11+ years of Disney travel under her belt.

1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel Podcast was nominated for Best Leisure Podcast in the 2021 People's Choice Podcast Awards and Outstanding Kids and Family Series in the 2021 Canadian Podcast Awards.